If your front door is still just adorned with a knocker, it’s definitely time for an upgrade. By remotely responding to visitors at our front door via our video doorbell, we prevented robberies at our home. No matter where we were, playing video games upstairs, or on a business trip in Taiwan, we always seemed like we were home. Below, we run through our list of the best video doorbells on the market, because you shouldn’t be opening the door to just anybody.
Our Minimum Standards
1080p HD resolution
Field of view
The Best Video Doorbells on YouTube
Find out more about the best video doorbells of 2021 with our handy YouTube video.
Comparison of the Best Video Doorbells
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2
Wyze Video Doorbell
Logitech Video Doorbell
Lorex Video Doorbell
Field of View
Smart home compatibility
Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
HomePod or Apple TV
Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Person detection available with Ring Protect plans
With a 150 degree field of view both vertically and horizontally, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 offers a unique viewer experience that’s just as wide as it is tall. Combined with infrared LEDs, the footage was crystal clear during the day and night.
What We Liked
Wide field of view
Birds-eye view feature
3D motion detection
What We Didn’t Like
Subscription required to save recorded video
Not compatible with Google Assistant
Ring’s ongoing privacy concerns
3D Motion Detection
3D motion detection let us map someone’s movement on our property. In other words, we could see a person’s path before they came into our camera’s field of vision. The feature, powered by radar technology, gave us more control to record only when and where someone stepped onto our property. Plus, it made us feel like FBI agents.
Bird’s Eye View Feature
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 touts a birds-eye view feature to augment existing live streams of video recordings. The additional aerial perspective gave us much more context to what had been recorded. When our package arrived, we could see our delivery man’s journey up the driveway reflected as a dotted line on a map. These details can really come in handy if there is an intrusion because they will paint a clearer picture of what happened before the culprit gets all the way to our front door.
State-of-the-art features like 3D motion detection certainly catch our eye, but we also have an appreciation for the basics. The Pro 2 had crystal clear audio features so we could easily hear what was going on, giving us a more complete picture of any events that transpired. We could also speak to those on the other side of the bell through our mobile app.
If Ring Video Doorbells offer seamless integration with Alexa, then the Nest Doorbell does the same with Google. That means full access to Google Assistant and Google Home devices. And the doorbell takes advantage of Google’s patented facial recognition software so it knows exactly who’s at our door.
What We Liked
Innovative facial recognition feature
Sleek, stylish design
Worked seamlessly with Google Assistant and other Nest products
Users set custom home and away rules
What We Didn’t Like
Tricky to install and setup
Subscription required to store video
Relatively expensive device
Required chime box to function
Our Nest Doorbell video doorbell worked great as a standalone device, but because it’s from Nest, it also worked as part of our larger Nest camera system, including, for instance, our Google Nest Hub smart display and our Google Nest Mini smart speaker. And because Nest is part of the Google family, it’s set up to work seamlessly with Google Assistant voice commands. All we had to tell our phone was “Google, what’s on our doorbell?” and the app popped open with streaming live video.
Another advantage of using the Nest Doorbell for your doorbell? It takes full advantage of Google’s patented facial recognition software. We turned the program on and it began storing every face it saw, generating a full database. All we had to do was label the faces we knew to get more specific alerts. When our uncle showed up for lunch, for example, we got a personalized alert. And when we happened to be out of the house, we simply set up personalized voice messages to let friends and family know when we’d be back. Think of the Nest Doorbell as an answering machine, but for your front door.
Tip: Privacy advocates have raised concerns about facial recognition software in video doorbells.1 To protect your own privacy, you should avoid using cameras in any sensitive areas such as bedrooms and bathrooms.
Clear Day and Night Vision
We were impressed by the Nest doorbell’s video resolution of 1600p HD, above the industry standard. It also had a 160-degree field of view. But the video wasn’t just clear in the daytime. The Nest Doorbell’s infrared night vision uses 850 nm LED sensors allowing us to see whatever was happening, no matter what time it happened.
The new Wyze Video Doorbell is small, measuring just 3.25” x 1.5” .625”, but it doesn’t skimp on features like a built-in LED light, downloadable video, and a 3:4 aspect ratio. The aspect ratio is unique because it is longer than most fields of view, meaning that we saw visitors in their entirety, from head to toe. It is also one of the most affordable video doorbells on the market, retailing for just $54.98.
What We Liked
Stellar image quality
LED light built-in
What We Didn’t Like
Need to pay extra for person detection
Does not control your existing doorbell
No local storage
Narrow field of view
At just under $55, the Wyze doorbell is one of the most affordable video doorbells on the market. However, unlike some other bargain doorbells we’ve tested, Wyze performed relatively well. We got free cloud storage of 12-second clips for 14 days, motion detection, and head-to-toe video recording. The paid subscription, Cam Plus, was an additional $1.99 per month and got us both person detection (as opposed to motion detection) and event fast-forwarding.
Smoke + CO sound-triggered alerts
Cloud storage duration in days
The Wyze doorbell boasts 1080p HD resolution, and we were impressed by the clear footage. The 3:4 aspect ratio was different from other doorbells we tested because it’s longer lengthwise. Typically, if there’s a person on our porch, part of them tends to get cut off depending on how close they’re standing to the camera. With the Wyze doorbell, we could see the whole person from their shoes to their head, though we did lose some visibility on the periphery.
The Wyze Video Doorbell connected right to our existing doorbell wiring. That meant that we didn’t have to worry about charging a battery or installing the doorbell in direct sunlight to power solar panels. We should also mention that even though there was some hardwiring involved, the installation process was relatively easy overall. All we had to do was locate the correct wires, insert them into the device, and snap the doorbell into its mounting plate.
The Logitech Video Doorbell has it all, nearly: great video quality, increased privacy, and a smooth app experience. If you’re an Apple loyalist like we are, you’ll want to add this to their collection.
What We Liked
Secure cloud storage
Easy installation process
1600p HD video quality
What We Didn’t Like
Cannot view the feed from Androids
No battery option
Narrow viewing angles
Only works with HomeKit
Straightforward Installation Process
Though we had the option to have the Logitech Video Doorbell installed professionally for an additional $100, we went for the DIY option. First, we connected the doorbell’s powerline using a micro-USB cable and a 5V 2A AC adapter. Then, we paired the doorbell to our Wi-Fi network. Next, we attached the chime kit to our existing transformer and our door chime, snapped the doorbell onto its mounting plate, and voilá! We were cooking with gas.
Color Night Vision
When we looked at night footage from the Circle View, we were impressed with the detail captured. Infrared night vision is the norm, but sometimes that footage looks grainy and blurs out important details. The Circle View used an LED light at night, which illuminated our whole front porch and even parts of our driveway. The feature turned on automatically there was motion and shined a bright beam of light onto visitors. We got quality footage in color, even when the sun had set.
Specific Motion Detection
We were most impressed with the Circle View Doorbell’s advanced motion detection. We pulled our car into the driveway just as a stray cat darted through our yard and a branch fell out of our neighbor’s tree. The Circle View reacted quickly and accurately to the series of events. It could tell what was a vehicle, an animal, and an inanimate object. We saw the series of events mapped out on a scrolling timeline within the app. We thought the mapping feature was really neat, and understanding an event in such detail would definitely come in handy for something more serious, like a burglary.
NOTE: The Circle View can’t pair with Alexa or Google Home.
The Lorex Doorbell Camera is great for anyone who prefers a hardwired system that’s also completely DIY. Oh, and it also happens to be about half the price of most other video doorbells, costing just $129.99. That meant that we could secure our house without having to break the bank.
What We Liked
Local storage of up to 64 GB
No monthly fees
Infrared night vision
What We Didn’t Like
No professional monitoring available
No cloud storage
No person detection
A Lorex Video doorbell can be had for just $129.99, about half of what the more expensive examples on this list cost. It’s true that Lorex doesn’t come with some of the high-priced extras you might get elsewhere like cloud storage. But its 1080p HD video resolution matches the industry standard, and it offers a wide 160-degree field of vision. It also includes infrared night vision, two-way audio, and free local storage. That’s a heck of a lot of features to get for such a low price.
The Lorex Video Doorbell is small and fairly unobtrusive, four inches by 1.7, and only one inch wide. That meant it didn’t give our front door a cluttered look. In fact, it didn’t look all that different from a traditional doorbell. The faceplate is a stylish black and silver, with rounded features within a rectangular casing. All-in-all, it told visitors we like our technology, but we also like it to blend well with our signature style.
In general, we prefer hardwired video doorbell systems for one simple reason: no batteries required. Unfortunately, purchasing a wired system often means hiring a professional installer. Lorex, however, was completely DIY. We connected a few wires, attached the faceplate, and were done. It was hardwiring without the hassle!
Video Doorbell Methodology
What qualities do we look for in a video doorbell, and how do we know if something is up to par? In this section, we discuss exactly how we put this list together.
We know that our doorbell is one of the first things visitors see at our home, so it is important to us that we like the aesthetics as well as the technology. The next thing we look for is durability. We want to know each video doorbell’s temperature range and then make sure that it doesn’t get any hotter or colder than where we live. Sometimes, IP ratings2 are also available. Those are very helpful in giving us an idea about how resistant it is to liquids and solids.
A large body surface like the back of a hand, but no intentional contact with a body part
Dripping water falling vertically
Fingers or similar objects
Dripping water falling from 15-degree tilt
Tools, thick wires, etc.
Most wires, screws, etc.
Water jets 6.3mm & below
Powerful water jets 12.5mm & below
Immersion up to 1m
Immersion over 1m
The next factor we consider is whether the video doorbell is battery-powered or hardwired. While hardwiring is certainly a more complicated process, we like that we don’t have to worry about changing the batteries if we go that route. If our video doorbell is battery-powered, on the other hand, we want to be sure that the battery life is six months or longer. We also prefer devices that notify us if the battery is low. Finally, we like to learn about the circumstances that trigger the doorbell to record, which is typically either when it senses motion or people, or when the doorbell is pressed. Sometimes there is also an option for 24/7 continuous recording.
Of course, the main feature of any video doorbell is its camera, and we are sticklers for our security camera necessary features test. We review the cameras in terms of technical specifications as well as our own experience using them, judging them based on their video, audio, night vision, storage, smart platform integrations, and artificial intelligence capabilities. Keep reading for more detail about each.
1080p HD is the industry standard for security camera video display. We also look for fields of view that are 120 degrees or wider. Finally, it’s nice if the camera can zoom optically or digitally, although it isn’t a deal-breaker if it can’t.
All of the video doorbells we review have built-in speakers and microphones which enable two-way audio. Two-way audio means that we can actually speak to whoever is in front of our doorbell camera, whether we are in the house or across the world.
We prefer infrared night vision over color night vision from a bright white light because it is way less conspicuous. LED sensors are hardly noticeable, and if we are recording an intruder at night, we want to make sure that they don’t know. Most video doorbells have infrared night vision. The strength of the LED vision depends on the amount of LED sensors, but there are no hard and fast rules.
There are a number of reasons to store our recorded footage. If we have an intrusion, we want some footage to show to the police. Sometimes, we like to store footage for sentimental reasons, like when we brought our dog home for the first time. Whatever reason, we always back up our footage in two ways, locally on a hard drive or device, as well as on the cloud.
Companies differ when it comes to local and cloud storage. Some offer cloud for free, some offer local for free, and some charge for both or give both for free. We also saw 60 days of cloud storage offered for $3 per month and 30 days of cloud storage offered for $6 per month, so there is some variance. The point is, storage is something we take very seriously and factor into the overall cost when choosing a video doorbell.
Smart Platform Integration
We know we want to purchase a video doorbell that integrates with the same smart home ecosystem we have. For us, that is either Amazon or Google. That way, we are able to control our doorbell camera, hands-free. And we can use it to trigger all our other smart home devices from light bulbs to televisions. For more on setting up a smart home, read our home automation guide.
Compatible smart displays and speakers
Echo Show, Echo Dot
Nest speakers, Nest Hubs
Artificial intelligence is key when it comes to video doorbells. They all work through motion detection; when they detect motion, we receive a mobile notification. But a lot of motion detected usually isn’t from people but from other moving objects. For example, we have some energetic squirrels pass through now and then. That’s where AI comes in handy. Person detection differentiates between people and other moving objects, while facial recognition tells us exactly who is at our front door. Unfortunately, the majority of video doorbells we review don’t have any AI capabilities, but these kinds of capabilities can be a huge advantage in giving us smarter, more specific notifications.
Depending on our video doorbell design, we either hardwire it into our home or operate it with batteries. It is always important to make sure that our home matches the video doorbell’s requirements before buying the doorbell. For example, some video doorbells require an existing doorbell setup while some don’t. If we don’t feel confident in hardwiring or otherwise installing our video doorbell, we hire a professional. Doing so usually costs us $100 or more,3 but at least in those cases, we know it is done correctly. The cheaper option, of course, is DIY installation, so we always make sure that we know what we are getting into before we purchase a video doorbell.
Finally, we thoroughly check out the apps. First, the app we use to control the video doorbell and its storage needs to be highly rated on either the Apple or Google Play store, depending on our mobile device. We prefer ratings of three stars and above and make sure to check out the most recent reviews to see the most current updates. However, we also run each app ourselves to see how easy it was to set up, how intuitive its controls are, and whether it allows us to fine-tune its features.
Best Video Doorbells FAQs
For more information on the best video doorbells, check out our FAQ below.
Through our research, we’ve found the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2, the Nest Doorbell Video Doorbell, the Wyze Video Doorbell, the Logitech Video Doorbell, and the Lorex Video Doorbell to be some of the best video doorbells.
Ring does not require monthly fees for its video doorbells. However, we recommend signing up and paying for a Ring Basic protection plan for $3 a month ($30 a year) which comes with 60 days of video storage. Or upgrade to the Ring Plus protection plan for $10 a month ($100 a year) and get professional monitoring as well.
Video doorbells connect to a mobile application so we can see and speak to whoever’s at our front door from anywhere in the world. The camera comes with a speaker and microphone so we can have two-way conversations. Many video doorbells are motion-activated, notifying us whenever they detect motion, and some can even differentiate between people and other moving objects to make our notifications more relevant.
The best video doorbell available without a subscription is the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2. Among its many features, it comes with high-quality 1080p HD video, two-way audio, infrared night vision, compatibility with smart home devices like Alexa and Google Home, and customizable motion zones.